The Disingenuous Defense of For-Profit Health Care Hasn’t Changed in Decades
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It’s nonsense, of course: the formalized agitprop of a vast and profitable industry that would become substantially less vast and less profitable if something like Medicare For All ever became a reality. With access to the same data and polling the rest of us can see (and probably much more besides), the industry and its PR flacks know all too well that Medicare is both efficient and popular, and that any expansion would be difficult to roll back for exactly these reasons.
When it comes to the provision of health care, there’s ultimately an irreconcilable divergence of human needs and private profit — a divergence which historical evidence suggests becomes patently obvious to people who experience the socialized version (Britain’s NHS, to take an obvious example, was found to be more popular than both the army and the monarchy in one 2013 poll).
It’s for this reason that efforts to arrest the march of socialized medicine have always been so absurdly histrionic and alarmist: characterized by dire warnings about the unintended consequences of humanitarian ambition, the threat of Orwellian government overreach, and the destruction of personal freedom that supposedly await all Americans just beyond the next proposed Medicare expansion. Though liberal and conservative politicians throughout the decades have assumed different rhetorical postures in making the case against universal health care, it’s striking how little the underlying arguments have actually changed.
For proof, we need look no further than the iconic 1961 screed recorded by none other than Ronald Reagan under the aegis of the American Medical Association as part of its wider campaign against the proposed Medicare program (commonly known as Operation Coffee Cup). In the just over ten minute recording, Reagan (then still known as a figure of the silver screen) showcased the basic template still employed by industry hacks, right-wing talking heads, and centrist Democrats to this very day.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
July 13, 2021 at 12:03 PM #434824gordyflParticipant
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Every Republican, especially those on Medicare, should be reminded of Reagan’s speech, and the fear he stirred about “socialized medicine”.
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